Letter from The New School President 10-6-11

David E. Van Zandt, President
October 6, 2011:To the New School Community:

New School students are encouraged to devise peaceful, practical solutions to long-standing problems of inequality. As events that began on Wall Street over the last few weeks continue to unfold on the international stage, some of our students are working with peers, questioning long-held assumptions, and picking up the mantle of leadership.Throughout its history, The New School has encouraged critical and creative thinking about the political, social, and cultural spheres, and remains committed to public engagement for the benefit of our students’ education and the betterment of society. Just as we respect thoughtful critique in the classroom, The New School endorses nonviolent action by students, faculty, and other members of its community in New York’s public spaces. Our academic values dictate that legal, peaceful demonstration furthers key educational goals, including cultivation of critical thinking skills, promotion of active citizenship, and tolerance and understanding of different points of view.I have asked the deans to work with students and faculty on organizing a university-wide teach-in about the issues surrounding the Wall Street and national demonstrations in the coming weeks and look forward to sharing details with the community as they develop.As it approaches the 100th year of its founding, The New School continues to value the activism of our students, faculty, and staff who are outspoken in their support of social justice.